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~KittyKat~ 05-16-2013 07:31 AM

Tips to get the most milk?
My son was born with a cleft palate, therefore he is incapable of nursing (he cannot form suction to effectively empty the breast). The first 10 days before the diagnosis I was attempting to nurse (and getting very frustrated) but since it was discovered I have been EPing.

Problem is my supply took a nose dive in the beginning when he wasn't emptying and now through most of the day I only get 1.5 to 2 oz every 2 hrs. I'm afraid to pump any less but my boobs are killing me from all the suction. I am taking MM tea, fenugreek, blessed thistle. Brewers yeast, and a lactation blend given to me by one of the LC's. I have a dour electric hygeia from WIC. In the morning I can get 3-4 oz when first waking up. The rest if the day it's less. I have been producing just enough for him but now he's eating 3 oz at a time (he is 3.5 weeks) but doesn't seem to be eating any less often. So I am pumping on average 22 oz per day and he is eating about 25. The freezer milk is running out very fast! How do I make like 4 more oz a day so I can put some back in the freezer slowly too. I don't want to give him formula and I am so proud we made it this far but I don't know what else to do. HELP!

mama2tommy 05-16-2013 10:54 AM

Re: Tips to get the most milk?
Pumping is a bit of an artform, and really your breasts should not hurt...if they do, the suction is too high. So, adjust that first and foremost. Also make sure that you're using the proper size flange. Too big or too small will cause the pump to be less effective.

Are you under the care/gudance of an LC? If so, she can check some of your pump issues with you.

Also, how often are you pumping? Round the clock or just during the day? Typically you produce the most milk first thing in the morning, and then supply tapers off as the day wears on. If not already, do be sure you're waking to pump at night.

There are a host of things you can try to up your supply, depending on what you're willing & able to do. One of the best galactagogues (IMHO) is goat's rue - it's expensive, but works very well.

Acupuncture can help stimulate milk production too. Where I live, there is a place that offers "community acupuncture" so it's only $25/session. Maybe try finding something like that if you're willing.

And if you want/need to go the pharmy route, there's Reglan (but I personally won't take it because one of the primary side effects is depression), and Domperidone. I respond very well to dom, but I do have to order it from overseas.

dvrgrl38 05-17-2013 11:06 AM

Re: Tips to get the most milk?
Apply heat to your breasts just prior to pumping. And watch this video of hands on pumping....really helped me:

babycat42 05-17-2013 11:16 AM

Re: Tips to get the most milk?
Are you making sure to drink lots and lots of water?

~KittyKat~ 05-19-2013 03:30 PM

Re: Tips to get the most milk?
Ok well since typing this I found out that the pump I was using was having some issues. The motor was going out so the speed was too low which made me have to turn the suction up. I have since traded it out with a new one from WIC and the pain has dropped a ton. I also spoke with one of the LC's and she got me a larger phalange size which helps with the comfort as well. My nipples are no longer scraping the sides though I am still getting a "skin ring" from where my areola rubs. I don't know if that means I need an even bigger size.

I am pumping every 2-3 hrs all day and every 4 hrs at night. Every time my son wakes to eat I pump. It doesn't seem to matter much how long I wait to pump though, I generally get a little less than 1 oz per hour. He is now eating 3 oz per feeding and we are having to give 1 bottle of formula a day because I am like 2 oz shy per day of his consumption :-(. I am drinking non stop it seems but then again I feel like I never have time so maybe I need to drink more, I can always try!

I will look into goats rue but acupuncture is not gonna happen for me. I mean, I want to give him exclusive breastmilk but I despise needles and freak out at the thought of acupuncture.

It was recommended I drink a beer a day to help increase and help relax me. I can't stand beer which is why I started with the brewers yeast but I discovered last night that I like Corona with extra lime. I drank one last night and I have noticed a bit of an increase today. It could be coincidental but we shall see.

I will take a look at that video and maybe try the heat, I always massage my breasts before starting and then I keep pumping after the milk has stopped because sometimes it triggers another let down. I would love to stop having to use the little bit of formula but I feel like I have so much against me (I also have a thyroid condition to add to it). I am not giving up till the fat lady sings especially since for him breastmilk could mean less ear infections and therefore less hearing loss and developmental delays since babies with cleft palates tend to get alot of fluid and need tubes which caused speech delays due to not hearing well early on. I feel like its so important for all babies but even more so for my very special little DS. He just turned a month old today and has only had 8 oz of formula so far in his life so I feel like given the circumstances we have been successful. I just wish we could eliminate it all together.

Van1300 05-20-2013 06:33 AM

Dark beer works best. If you hate the taste, pour it over ice cream or make a float/milkshake!

mama2tommy 05-20-2013 07:53 AM

Re: Tips to get the most milk?
Regarding beer, to be of any benefit, it needs to be UNFILTERED beer. My fav is a blue moon - put an orange slice in it and it's pretty awesome!

~KittyKat~ 05-20-2013 08:29 AM

Re: Tips to get the most milk?

Originally Posted by mama2tommy (Post 16608109)
Regarding beer, to be of any benefit, it needs to be UNFILTERED beer. My fav is a blue moon - put an orange slice in it and it's pretty awesome!

Hmmm that's the one other I could ever tolerate. Will pick some up today.

AngelElle 05-27-2013 02:19 AM

A couple things that helped my supply were eating adequate protein and using a manual pump. Maybe just a few minutes with the hand pump would get you more hind milk and more empty so your body is signaled to make more. I felt like I could get a little more with my Medela Harmony but of course couldn't EP with it. Also, your LC prob told you this, but are you pumping a couple minutes extra after the milk stops? That helped me too. I had to EP three months and it is not easy but it is possible. You are doing a lot to help him. I know the feeling of wanting to provide 100% breast milk, but remember every drop helps!! Even if he does get a little formula here or there, you are still doing so much good for him!

keen1981 05-27-2013 03:24 AM

Sounds like you are pumping a normal amount actually. So don't stress. Visit kellymom.con for milk intake guidelines.

The above suggestions are good. The beer is really not about the yeast, it's more of getting mom to relax for the letdown. But really no one should drink a beer every two hours- so it's obviously not gonna actually help you much. I always chuckle when I hear it.

Make sure you are stimulating every two hours around the clock right now.

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